Joseph Needham's letter of resignation as President of B.C.F.A.
BRITAIN-CHINA FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATIONPRESIDENT : Dr. JOSEPH NEEDHAM, F.R.S.
The time has come when I can no longer postpone writing to you to present my resignation as President of the Britain-China Friendship Association. I should like this to be effective as from February 6th 1965.
I knew at the time that the Annual General Meeting of last May would inevitably cripple the B.C.F.A. About half the active membership was strongly opposed to the Policy Statement which forbade discussion of the Sino-Soviet dispute, and this part of the Association was then deeply hurt by the refusal of the platform to allow the rebuttal of the accusation of racialism brought against the Chinese. From that day onwards the fortunes of the B.C.F.A. steadily declined.
But apart from all this I had long been dissatisfied with the position of the Association in the public life of our country, unable as it always was to exert influence of weight commensurate with the need of the international situation. This, in my view, was caused by its unduly close connection with the British Communist Party, a circumstance which prevented the development of a really broad-based organisation.
Together with other friends I am now attempting to set on foot just such an organisation. It is my hope that the new body will accomplish all that our great task requires of it.
I should perhaps add that I have at present no intention of giving up my life-membership of the B.C.F.A..
May I in conclusion express to you yourself my warmest personal regards, and my regrets that the concrete realities of the work necessitate the relinquishment of a collaboration which has given me much pleasure over the years.Yours sincerely,
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